San Cristobal, Venezuela, May 2, 2019 / 15:01 pm
Members of the Venezuelan National Guard attacked a Catholic church in San Cristobal Wednesday, amid nationwide protests against the government of president Nicolas Maduro.
Bishop Mario del Valle Moronta Rodriguez of San Cristóbal de Venezuela said May 1 that “this afternoon a horde of Bolivarian National Guardsmen attacked Our Lady of Fatima church in Barrio Sucre of San Cristóbal.”
A Mass was ending, he said, “when two (members of) the GNB entered the church on a motorcycle.”
Bishop Moronta said that “the pastor came down from the rectory in order to stop them,” but “in the attempt to dialogue, a horde of 40 GNB arrived trying to enter.”
“The pastor, Fr. Jairo Clavijo, stopped them, and after them a general arrived by the last name of Ochoa who started arguing with the pastor, in hardly respectful terms.”
“Not content with the outrage, the GNB threw tear gas canisters inside the church,” he complained.
The Bishop of San Cristóbal said, “they were able to evacuate the sacred precinct where there were a good number of faithful, including quite a few elderly people. A nun fainted.”
For Bishop Moronta “this incident is extremely serious and is an attack on the Catholic Church.”